Merkel Helix Speedster

Merkel Helix Speedster – for all types of stalking

Straight-pull rifles are becoming more popular as their ability to offer a super-fast cycling rate with a short and effortless bolt-action design is appealing. German firm Merkel has had good success with its version of this genre in the Helix system, and the Merkel Helix Speedster model embodies all the…

Rifle fit check

Does your rifle fit you? Here’s how to find out.

I remember having to wrestle with my first. 22 rimfire, a BSA Martini action 12/15, out rabbiting. It was accurate but it weighed a ton, was far too long and the stock was short with a low comb. In those days we made do, but today attitudes have changed and…

lightweight rifles

Best lightweight rifles – we test a selection

I was two-thirds the way up ‘the Ben’ and puffing some when my companion started. “You should get a lightweight rifle, like mine,” he said. At that moment any rifle would have been too heavy, but I refrained from replying that maybe the 40-year difference in our ages ought to…

long range foxing

Long range foxing – how to go about it

Long range foxing early in the morning From where I sat, I could see the entire lambing field. All had remained calm until I noticed the ewe closest to the cover stand up and stare intently at the bushes.  I was already watching the area after I noticed the blackbirds…

Schultz & Larsen Victory synthetic thumbhole

Schultz & Larsen Victory synthetic thumbhole £2,950

Verdict on the Schultz & Larsen Victory synthetic thumbhole version In this world of fast food and high-tech gadgetry, it is nice to see that some firearms manufacturers still move with the times — but not at the expense of real quality and engineering. Schultz & Larsen (S&L), whose rifles…

deer stalking

Why do we use gun slips and cases?

Gun cases that catch the wind Are we overly protective of our rifles? Are we over-using padded slips out in the field? Rifles are designed to be used outdoors, in the wind and the rain. So why do we see hill stalkers struggling up slopes with their guest’s rifle cosseted…

LEAD-FREE BULLETS

What’s the accuracy of lead-free bullets?

Lead-free ammunition is definitely making its presence felt and I am increasingly hearing from readers who have concerns about lead-free bullets and accuracy. Here’s an example of just one such question. Lead-free bullets and accuracy Q: Will my .243 Win rifle shoot lead-free bullets accurately if lead is banned? A:…

Rifle of the year

Rifle of the year – CZ 457 

Rifle of the year – CZ 457  CZ have always and continue to offer just what real shooters want, the new CZ 457 series of .22 rimfire rifles continues the lineage of their classic mini bolt action design to new levels of excellence. The new range of 457 rimfires still incorporate…

Rifle Ammo of the Year

Rifle Ammunition of the year –  Sako Powerhead Blade 

Rifle ammunition of the year –  Sako Powerhead Blade  This ammunition meets the needs of the most demanding lead-free fieldsports enthusiasts.  The unique Tri-Blade Tip design, together with the reaction chamfer, provides immediate bullet expansion initiation and optimised mushrooming upon impact at various shooting distances, no matter the size of…

Savage A22 Pro Varmint

The Savage A22 Pro Varmint

Our Verdict The Savage A22 Pro Varmint semi-automatic rimfire rifle is Savage Arms’ answer to the Ruger 10/22, which has long dominated this area of the market. The A22 is available in many guises but here we have the Pro Varmint stock version, giving a distinct heavy varmint profile. Like…

Steyr Mannlicher Carbon CL II

Steyr Mannlicher Carbon CL II

Steyr Mannlicher has been producing rifles in Austria for more than 150 years and its latest is the Steyr Mannlicher Carbon CL II. As the name suggests, it features a lightweight and strong carbon-fibre stock for consistent accuracy in all weather conditions. The new stock also alleviates excess noise, where…

small calibre cartridges

All about small calibre cartridges

Q: Do you have any information on the .14 or .12 calibre cartridges? I would like to rebarrel a rifle in one of these calibres but what’s your advice on small calibre cartridges?  A: There are some worthwhile small calibre cartridges around. The .14 is a unique calibre and a…

Zastava sporting rifle

Ready for action – Zastava sporting rifle M85

Background to the Zastava sporting rifle Serbian manufacturer Zastava Arms traces its origins back to the casting of four cannons in a small Kragujevac foundry in 1853, the same town where it operates from today, albeit on a much larger scale. Along the way it has been embroiled in two…

Rifle shooting

Vintage rifles can still be viable

There are historical and legal reasons for the decline in interest in vintage rifles in this country. When I was a child, to have a modest collection of sporting and military rifles was not an uncommon thing for a country gentleman. My father had only a passing interest, but owned…

CZ 455 mini sniper rimfire

CZ 455 Mini Sniper .22 rimfire

Don’t be put off by the name; we think ‘Mini Sniper’ is an allusion to the fact this CZ .22 LR rimfire rifle is highly accurate and precise, and perhaps got lost a bit in translation. What the CZ 455 Mini Sniper does, though, is blend elements from the target…

CZ 511

The CZ 511 – an absolute bargain

The CZ 511 is essentially the same gun as the older Brno 581 which had previously been in production since the 1950s, the newer name simply reflecting the rebranding of Brno to CZ. Its design therefore comes with a strong pedigree, and even owners of older Brno models report that…

Sauer 100 Classic XT

Sauer 100 Classic XT synthetic

The Sauer 100 Classic XT synthetic is designed as a no-nonsense practical sporting arm and the XT models are the entry-level rifles — offering value but with the Sauer quality. Alternative models have walnut or synthetic stocks, with classic Sporter stock arrangements or stainless steel finishes too. Perhaps the adjustable…

Can I load ammunition for a friend?

Q:  I enjoy loading my own ammunition for my .223 and .243 rifles. I have been asked to do some reloading for a friend. Is this legal and would I need to inform my firearms enquiry officer (FEO)? The law on reloading A: There is nothing in law that says…